The under-17 girls team seem to be set on upstaging their senior counterparts as the day after the Women’s Team took bronze the under-17 girls took silver. Again the winning team was Aldershot but again Bristol & West’s Team kept giving 100% to the finish line. Olivia Sadler truly came of age off the track as she came home third in 13:46 on the first lap but a measure of the task in hand was that Aldershot were already 35 second clear thanks to the days fourth fastest time run by Georgia Peel. Between the two was Susan Shiel-Rankin who showed Aldershot’s depth as not many teams have a 13:35 runner in their ‘B’ Team. On the second leg Naomi Speake pulled up to second with a 14:26 clocking with a typical display of 100% commitment from start to finish. That left Annabel Gummow to chase shadows as Aldershot were away and clear and with a 13:05 clocking (third fastest of the day) the silver medals were never in doubt. Behind Annabel, Jessica Judd was on a charge as her 12:38 lap (fastest of the day) lifted Chelmsford into third and a 13:14 clocking by Alice Wright that lifted Worcester into fourth place also caught the eye.
Another athlete to catch the eye was 800 metre specialist Lily Owsley who ran 14:17 for eleventh pace for the ‘B’ Team on the first leg. Megan Williams ran 16:42 on the second leg and Billie Williams 16:31 on the last leg as the Club’s B Team finished 29th out of 41 teams.
In the under-15 girls Miranda Sadler ran 14:21 to finish eighth on the first leg (look at the photo section to see the battle to finish in the first 10 on the leg) before handing over to Ruth Evan-Baker who ran 17:38 to finish 36th. Unfortunately the team did not have a third runner to complete an ‘A’ Team in this event.
The boys under-17 team knew that the competition was fierce and that they would have a real fight to get into the medals. Hobie Martin gave the Team the perfect start to come home first in 11:47 for the fifth fastest time of the day. Zak Tobias was caught, and breifly passed, on the second leg before getting the club back in front with a 12:08 clocking. For Midland and Rhys Park read National and Luke Jacobs. Luke was given a lead but it was always going to be a battle to defend it. He was passed by two runners and then had the unenviable position of battling for bronze knowing that Tom Purnell was bearing down on him. In the end he had to give way as Tom Purnell ran a blistering 11:31 for fastest lap of the day. Luke gave it all he had clocking 12:31 – particularly over the first two-thirds of the course but as can be seen from his photo was still running strongly at the end – it just goes to show how strong and competitive these races are at National Junior level but this team will be back next year.
For the ‘B’ Team Adam Speake ran 12:25 on the first leg and despite the high standard of his time it was only good enough for 18th place. Sam Bedwell ran a solid 12:46 as the team slipped two places to 20th and Zac Marsh ran 13:24 on the final leg to bring the team home in 24th place. 64 teams finished in this age group.
In the under-15 boy’s event Oscar Holdsworth ran 13:28 for 21st on the first leg before handing on to Lewis Nightingale who ran 14:18 for 27th place. Miles Burton attacked the anchour leg with a will and was rewarded with the team’s fastest time of 13:15 as he lifted the team to 16th place. On the first lap Pat Krause ran 14:23 to come home in 50th place and if you view the photos section you will see that the races are competitive all the way through the field.
Overall the Club’s young athletes did us proud and the team left Sutton Park on a high with some athletes looking forward to the National Cross-Country Relays on Saturday 6th November 2010 and others already looking forward to the Young Athletes Road Relays in the Autumn of 2011.